Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1075, p. 136.
February 16, 1861
Virginia has assumed the office of a mediator, and President Buchanan has sent a special message to Congress relative to the resolutions of the Virginian Legislature for a peaceful settlement of the existing differences. The resolutions invite all States, slaveholding and non-slaveholding, to appoint commissioners to meet at Washington similar commissioners appointed by Virginia to consider and, if possible, agree on some suitable adjustment. One of the resolutions requests the President to agree to abstain in the mean time from any act calculated to produce a collision of arms between the States and the Federal Government. The President expresses his conviction that he does not possess the requisite power, and that Congress alone can exercise it. He accordingly recommends that body to abstain from passing any law calculated to produce a collision during the contemplated general assembly at Virginia, which he trusts may be the destined means of perpetuating the Union.
The secession ordinance had been passed in the Louisiana Convention by a vote of 113 yeas against 17 nays. A resolution declaring the navigation of the Mississippi to be free to all friendly Powers was also passed unanimously. The Louisiana state troops had seized the United States' Marines Hospital at New Orleans, and had ordered the immediate removal of the patients, the hospital being required for the troops of the State. The State of Texas has gone for disunion. But present appearances show that Virginia will act with the other border States and oppose secession. A deputation of bankers from New York city had arrived at Washington for the purpose of inducing Congress to make concessions to the South.
The House passed on the 28th ult. the Senate bill for the admission of Kansas, which thus becomes the thirty-fourth State of the Union, and the nineteenth Free State.